A huge crowd filled the Pavilion on Gympie's Southside for the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast yesterday.
A huge crowd filled the Pavilion on Gympie's Southside for the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast yesterday. Renee Albrecht

650 fill Pavilion to hear Costello speak

ONE of Australia's most sought after ethical voices delivered an inspirational message to the people of Gympie at yesterday's Mayoral Prayer Breakfast.

Tim Costello, Australian Baptist minister and World Vision Australia CEO, addressed more than 650 people at Southside's Pavilion Conference Centre during his first visit to the region.

The inspiring speaker, who has put the spotlight on global poverty in Australia, said it was extraordinary to see so many people at a prayer breakfast.

He shared experiences of extreme poverty and neglect from his visits to Africa where people had drawn "the last ticket in the lottery of life".

He described the joy, the hope and the transformation of people in dire circumstances - helping him to conclude that poverty has more to do with attitude than circumstance.

He said Australians had lost in their lives in a world increasingly focused on the individual.

"Perspective is really important because I'm worried about how much hyper individuality is creeping into the Australian soul," he said.

The 'it's all about me' way of thinking has become endemic in society, he said, and it is now time to regroup and resolve.

"We always compare up, we never compare down," he said.

"Perspective is comparing down and seeing what it's like to walk in another person's shoes."

"The whole point of love is to make a difference now, to give a hand up not a hand out and to empathise and stand in solidarity to say it's not all about me."

Community members were also treated to a performance by Opera Australia singer Andrew Pryor's, whose commanding voice added to the strong sense of presence of the event.

Mayor Mick Curran said the event, which was the 10th one of its kind in Gympie, provided an opportunity to come together and remember what life is really about.

Mr Costello left the audience with a saying he borrowed from an African tribe: "I am, because we are."